Chapter 17, Section 2 (pp. 568576) What happened on September 1, 1939? Explain the actions and roles of Germany, Soviet
Union, Poland, Britain, and France. Nazi forces stormed into Poland, revealing the enormous power of Hitler’s blitzkrieg. The
Luftwaffe attacked Poland. While Germany attacked from the west, Stalin’s forces invaded from the east, grabbing lands promised to them under the Nazi Soviet Pact. Within a month,
Poland ceased to exist. Because of Poland’s location and the speed of the attacks, Britain and France could do nothing to help beyond declaring war on Germany. What is a blitzkrieg?
What was the
Blitzkrieg “lightning war.” Luftwaffe German air force
Near the beginning of the war, why did some people call World War II a “phony war”? When and how did it become apparent that the war was very real? The quite time when the French hunkered down behind the Maginot Line and Britain sent troops to wait with them was known as a “phony war”. Then, in April 1940, Hitler launched a blitzkrieg against Norway and Denmark, next, his forces slammed into the Netherlands and
Where did Germans enter when they crossed the
Maginot Line? What were the consequences of this invasion on British troops in Dunkirk? They attacked through the Ardennes Forest in Belgium, German troops poured into France.
Retreating British forces were soon trapped between the Nazi army and the English Channel.
In a desperate gamble, the British sent all available naval vessels, merchant ships, and even fishing and pleasure boats across the channel to pluck stranded troops off the beach of
Explain the circumstances around the surrender of France to the Germans. (When? Where?
Why? French responses?) German forces headed south toward Paris. Italy declared war on France and attacked from the south. Overrun and demoralized, France surrendered. On June 22, 1940, Hitler forced the
French to sign the surrender documents in the same railroad car in which Germany had signed the armistice ending World War I. Following the surrender, Germany occupied northern France. In the south, the Germans set up a “puppet state,” with its capital at Vichy.
Operation Sea Lion
, and why Germans want to carry out this operation? Operation Sea Lion—the invasion of Britain. Hitler was sure that the British would sue for peace. But Winston Churchill, who had replaced Neville Chamberlain as prime minister, had other plans. In preparation for the invasion, he launched massive air strikes against the island nation. What was the
? When did it occur, and what were the outcomes of this attack? Relays of aircraft showered high explosives and firebombs on the sprawling capital. The bombing continued for 57 nights in a row and then sporadically until the next May. These bombing attacks are known as “the blitz.” Much of London was destroyed, and thousands of people lost their lives. What military actions did Italy take in Africa? How did German commander
Rommel contribute to these aggressions? In September 1940, Mussolini ordered forces from Italy’s North African colony of Libya into
Egypt. When the British army repulsed these invaders, Hitler sent one of his most brilliant commanders, General Erwin Rommel, to North Africa. The “Desert Fox,” pushed the British back across the desert toward Cairo, Egypt. What other countries were forced to join the Axis alliance by 1941? Greece and Yugoslavia were added to the growing Axis empire. Bulgaria and Hungary had joined the Axis alliance. Why was
Operation Barbarossa significant for SovietGerman alliances? Why did Hitler hope to gain by launching this plan? Operation Barbarossa, a plan which took its name from the medieval Germanic leader,
Frederick Barbarossa. He also wanted to crush communism in Europe and defeat his powerful rival,